TOA New Takarazuka Operations Building - 1998
TOA's New Takarazuka Operations Building was completed in April, 1998. An intelligent building equipped with OA (office automation)-compatible floors and fiber-optic networking, this new building was designed with an integrated sound system that exudes a soothing aural representation of Takarazuka's natural environment while emphasizing TOA's corporate image as a "sound space producer." The soundtrack was composed by musician Matsuo Kenjiro*.
A "Welcome" sound greets the ears when visitors enter the building's foyer. In addition, telephone hold tones, time signals, elevator sign tones, and other aural keys used throughout the building were also specially designed with a coordinated sense of sound that discreetly conveys to all TOA's "sound specialist" corporate image.
* Kenjiro:Mr. Kenjiro Matsuo is a musician and composer hailing from Fukuoka Prefecture. His wide range activities include everything from event sound production and music production to multimedia, TV commercials and the performing arts.
TOA received the Grand Mecenat Award - 1995
In 1995, TOA received the Grand Mecenat Award (sponsored by the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts), which is presented to corporations that stand out as supporters of the arts and culture. TOA received this award for its highly regarded "sound culture enlightenment activities," as promoted through its XEBEC Hall public performance base. TOA intends to continue its XEBEC activities, while bearing in mind the relationship between mankind and its surrounding environment, and the ideal role that sound plays in that environment.
* Photo: The Grand Mecenat Award reception ceremony
Developing the World's Finest Professional Audio Equipment - 1990
Developing the World's Finest Professional Audio Equipment Behind the scenes of the development of the ix-9000 Fully Digital Mixing System, as told by one of its development engineers
"Despite the fact that the development of our Fully Digital Mixer was to be the first of its kind in the world, we had only a limited time frame of two and half years from the start of development till the system's final installation. We repeatedly communicated and double-checked with the tonemeister at the Vienna National Opera Theater, and eventually were able to bring the equipment to the Theater after prototype development manufacturing and developing the installation equipment.
"One of the main motivations behind the development of the ix-9000 Digital Console was that our R&D staff members at the time were already deeply involved in digital signal processing research. The knowledge and understanding that the development team members gained in regards to the on-site requirements of digital mixing technology led to the development of the ix-9000. From this job, I came to strongly feel that our extensive preparations, which could be used to put a broad range of ideas into shape, were indispensable for giving birth to new products."
* Photo: ix-9000
A Punishing Desert isleSurvival Course - 1988
These photos shows some scenes from TOA's "Desert Isle Survival Course," which was held every year from 1988 to 1993 as part of our new recruit education program. This survival course assumes that an airplane load of recruits makes an emergency landing on a desert isle, forcing them to survive for three days on limited materials and foodstuffs until a rescue party arrives. When their food gives out, they must learn to fend for themselves. The recruits ate wild chickens, seaweed and anything they could find that was edible, making their lives a "battle for survival" which puts similar "survival" TV programs in the shade. The participants soon came to feel that even toothpaste was delicious.
Changes in the TOA Logo - 1985
Something Different - 1972
Behind the scenes of the development of the "900 Series," as told by one of its development engineers
"At the time, we were renting an apartment in San Francisco, and spent many months conducting market surveys. As a result, we decided that we should start planning a new product, and visited every company we could find that was related to acoustic sound, thoroughly discussing all possibilities until we could arrive at some concrete concepts. Americans generally don't pay much attention to most products unless they have a special feature that differentiates them from all the rest. After making extensive efforts to find that "something," we came up with the concept of modular construction. Our development theme at the time was "Something Different."
"I believe that it is important for the manufacturer's thinking or fundamental policy to be visible in the product itself. Of course, making products that ultimately satisfy customers is the most important goal of all."
TOA's Most Famous Pruduct - 1968
TOA's ER-303 megaphone goes down in history as being used by the criminal who pulled off the still-unsolved 300 million yen robbery case.
In December, 1968, one of Japan's most famous robberies, the "300 Million Yen Case," occurred in Fuchu, Tokyo. Disguising himself as a motorcycle policeman, the criminal used one of TOA's ER-303 megaphones in the robbery of an armored car, which soon became an important clue in the police investigation. At the time, TOA fully cooperated with the Metropolitan Police Department for an early settlement of the case, providing information wherever possible and trying to quickly locate the shop from where the ER-303 in question was purchased. However, in spite of extensive nationwide investigations, the culprit was never caught, and the statute of limitations on the case expired in 1975. Since this case is famous throughout Japan owing to the many mysteries that still surround it, to this day TV stations still ask for the megaphone to appear on TV from time to time.
High power output PA system audible distance testing - 1962
Super-large PA system audible distance test scenes
The super-large PA system was a full 6.6m in total length and 3m in horn diameter. The system's furthest audible distance was 12km.
Reflex Horn Speaker - 1958
Behind the scenes of the development of the ER-57 and ER-58, as told by one of the team's development engineers.
"Because we could not achieve the design-specified power output using Japanese transistors of the time, we had to import these components from overseas. However, due to the difficulty in getting the optimum performance from such imported transistors, we ended up destroying many of them in the process of development. Considering that each power transistor cost as much as 10,000 yen, and that the monthly salary of a new recruit fresh from school in those days was only about 7,500 yen, even now I feel that the company was extremely generous in allowing us to perform such costly development work."
Progress toward independent management - 1954
Fundamental Management Policy
(1) Total confidence of our customers in the use of all products.
(2) Total confidence of our associates in all business transactions.
(3) Total confidence of our employees in all efforts.
TOA ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
Forging ahead with independent management, our company's basic management policy was established in 1953 under the title the "Three Confidences," which remains a fundamental guide for the company today.
These three policies express "confidence in the use of our products," "confidence in all our business transactions," and "confidence in all our efforts." Put simply, they mean that we should find problems before they become causes of anxiety, and that both management and staff should join forces to positively try to solve them.
"Every tide has its ebb." Even strong business enterprises must obey this very fundamental rule of life. Therefore, we must strive with every action to preserve our company and protect it from unfortunate outcomes. No confidence can ever be obtained without dedicating ourselves to hard work. When we face difficult situations, we must make every effort to succeed. Only in this way can we experience and communicate TOTAL CONFIDENCE. Thus, I have every confidence that will we earn peace and tranquility for both our company and ourselves.
"Extracted from the company book entitled "Continuity Is Strength," written by the late Mr. Taro Nakatani.
The Toa Trumpet Horn Speaker - 1947
Behind the scenes of the development of the reflex trumpet horn speakers
One day upon returning home, our father, the late Tsunetaro Nakatani, hung up something that looked like a crushed steel plate. He explained that he had found something that looked like a trumpet when he strolled past an open yard of things being sold by the Occupation Forces, and bought it. Upon closer examination, we found it was a trumpet horn speaker the likes of which had never seen before in Japan. Its horn was of a reflex-type unlike those used in traditional speakers, and it was also light in weight and extremely compact. It seemed that it could be installed easily in most locations and produced at a low cost, and on top of that we found that its performance was superb.
We did everything we could to reproduce it ourselves, but everything was in short supply in those days in Japan. With great effort, we were finally able to produce a reflex trumpet horn speaker that we could sell as the first Japanese-made product of its kind. Straight-type trumpet horn speakers which had been sold before the war soon disappeared, being eliminated from competition by the excellent performance and ease-of-use of our new reflex trumpet horn speaker.
Fortunately, the demand for our reflex trumpet horn speakers grew each day, as new schools and railway stations were reconstructed. Although those days still preserved many vestiges of pre-war days, and most electrical goods were still colored in only black or gray, we dared to paint our new speaker in a brilliant sky blue, saying it was a new trumpet horn speaker. Orders soon rushed in, demanding, "We want the blue trumpet horn speakers."
This was the first step in the history of "Toa's trumpet horn speakers " and "Toa well known for the trumpet horn speakers."
"Extracted from the company book entitled "Continuity is Strength," written by the late Mr. Taro Nakatani.
The Start of TOA History - 1934
The Story of the Company's First President, the Late Tsunetaro Nakatani
TOA's founder, Mr. Tsunetaro Nakatani, was born on August 10, 1890 in the city of Takasago, approximately 30km west of Kobe, and was raised as the only son of a family of one boy and 6 girls. Following conscription into the army, he joined the 39th Infantry Regiment in Himeji. Although he had planned to be a photographer or painter after completing his military service, the death of his brother-in-law, who had been operating a manufacturing business in Senba, Osaka, forced him to defer his dreams, and he worked with his elder sister in the place of his brother-in-law until she graduated from university and took over her late husband's business.
Tsunetaro often used to tell his son, Taro, "Man's happiness lies in the fact that he can do the job he loves with all his might." Perhaps Tsunetaro said this out of parental love in the hope his son would not experience the same disappointments in life that he had endured. Was it the environment of Senba, Osaka that so changed Tsunetaro, who had previously preferred the more solitary profession of a painter? Or perhaps Tsunetaro's very efforts were responsible for bringing about such a profound change.
Around the time that his sister took over her husband's business, Tsunetaro happened to meet a young engineer during his travels who sparked his interest in making microphones. Soon after, he determined that this would be type of work he would like to do next. After moving to Kobe, he founded the Toa Electric Manufacturing Co., Ltd., and immediately started making microphones. The seeds of today's TOA opened here, in September of 1934.
"Extracted from the company book entitled "Continuity Is Strength," written by the late Mr. Taro Nakatani. The photo vividly shows the condition of the streets in the days when TOA was established.